The race for higher-speed wireless devices got another contestant Monday, when Sprint announced the availability of the Mogul smartphone from HTC. It is the first Sprint handset to support the higher transmission speeds of EVDO, as well as the first CDMA device in the U.S. to sport Windows Mobile 6 Professional.
The phone, which also has Bluetooth and integrated Wi-Fi, actually ships with Rev. 0 of EVDO. The faster Rev. A capabilities will be available as a software update for the handset when the entire Sprint Wireless Broadband Network has been upgraded. The Rev. A conversion is expected to be completed by third quarter of this year.
EVDO Rev. 0 has average download speeds of 400 to 700 Kbps, with peaks up to about 2 Mbps, and average uploads of 40 to 70 Kbps, with peaks up to about 144 Kbps. The faster Rev. A offers average downloads of 450 to 800 Kbps and peaks up to 3.1 Mbps, while uploads average about 300 to 400 Kbps and have peaks up to 1.8 Mbps.
Faster Processor, Full QWERTY
Avi Greengart, an analyst with industry research firm Current Analysis, called the Mogul "a nice product in general," citing its faster processor, full Qwerty keyboard, and HTC's decision to "lop off" the antenna that had existed in its predecessor, the Sprint PCS Vision Smart Device PPC-6700.
With EVDO Rev. A, he said, the upload speeds in particular will be noticeably faster, making it easier to do such tasks as sending photos to a blog or to friends. Greengart added that Windows Mobile 6 is an "evolutionary improvement," and that users won't notice any massive changes except primarily for the ability to view HTML e-mails.
Windows Mobile 6 enables elements of a Windows desktop experience to be replicated on a handset, and it includes added security and support for Microsoft's Office Mobile. Office Mobile features miniature versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Internet Explorer, plus a PDF viewer, Windows Live Services, and other applications.
Another upgrade, expected by mid-summer, will enable Mogul users to shop at the Sprint Music Store. The store, currently boasting an inventory of over 1.6 million songs, sells its songs for 99 cents each when a user has a Sprint Power Vision data plan. With an on-demand application, also coming out by mid-summer, users will be able to retrieve up-to-date information on sports, news, weather, financial news, and more.
Longer Battery Life
But functionality needs power and memory. The Mogul has a battery life about 20 percent longer than the PPC-6700, and the internal memory has been upped to 256 MB, from 128 in its predecessor. Additionally, a 512-MB microSD card comes with the unit, and the Mogul can support cards up to 2 GB.
The Mogul is designed to be more convenient to handle than the PPC-6700. With the antenna now inside the device, it is easier to carry in your pocket, Greengart said. Sprint noted in its announcement that the Mogul is thinner than the PPC-6700.
The Mogul, available now online and in business channels, will be released to brick-and-mortar stores by July. It retails for $399 with a two-year contract.